I love the Country Home look. I love the Cottage style. I just don't love all that white that goes along with it.
Have you noticed the pages and pages of beautifully photographed white rooms in all the magazines? White walls, white tables, white couches, white seashells, white bedspreads...with just a dab of cream to break things up a bit. Whoa, now. Easy on the cream.
I gotta tell ya. In glossy 6 color print, they look wonderful. But in real life, white rooms look like you just stepped into a Tampax commercial. (So clean and fresh!) I'm sure it makes the men in your life feel a little awkward.
I've been in many, many, many homes over the years, and probably one of the worst looks of all time is the white "shabby chic" ensemble. I've never really seen it work WELL. I have seen it look just OK.
I think the problem is that the "stuff of life" that comes into those pristine environs is a jumble of colors that just don't go with them. Lay a Penguin Book down somewhere and now you've got a bright orange goose-egg messing things up. Drape a purple sweater over a chair and that's all that catches your attention. Sloppy purple sweater. To say nothing of preschool toys and Big Wheels. Those will just hurt your eyeballs on that white backdrop of purity.
Who can really live like that anyway? I have a hunch that the day after the photographers leave to go print their pictures, the homeowners wake up and go "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I NEED SOME COLOR!" They dash to the local paint store and hear angels when they see the vast array of magnificent hues they've been craving. "I never knew..." they whisper brokenly as they clutch the paint chips to their chest.
Color affects everything from our moods to our appetites. A nice warm shade in the bathroom can make years melt off your face as you apply make-up. Vanity alone should make every woman choose ANYTHING but white for the walls and furnishings. How about a romantic tone of lilac (with just enough gray) for the bedroom? It might just kick your love life into gear. And don't we all want that!
Just keepin it real.
When we moved into our Barn House almost five years ago, we slapped new paint on the walls to cover up the white SEMI-GLOSS that covered everything. We didn't spend a whole lot of time agonizing over getting the exaaaact colors we wanted. But I'm ready for a little more boldness. Some color with oomph. I'm eager to change out the straw yellow in my bedroom for that soft lilac. With fresh white trim around the windows, I think it will look positively dreamy.
How about you? Are you collecting paint chips and gazing at them throughout the day, imagining their impact on your hum-drum living space? Give yourself permission to try something new. To step away from boring beige and wimpy white: the colors that are "safe," but dull and uninteresting. Try starting with something small, like a powder room, and experience the power of paint.
I'm talking about the POWAH of paint!
It's time. It's time for the Cottage Look to lose the White and embrace some color.
Some CULLAH, people!
Oh, what I wouldn't do for a gospel organ right now to emphasize my point.